21 April 2010

Petraeus 2012...?

The Times (UK) says General David Petaeus -one of the greatest American heroes of our time- has the potential to be a formidable presidential candidate and accomplished Commander-in-chief...
President Barack Obama's favourability ratings have slumped to below 50 per cent and he is no longer trusted or believed by many who voted for him...

Many voters yearn for an outsider, someone with authenticity, integrity and proven accomplishment. Someone who has not spent their life plotting how to ascend the greasy pole, adjusting every utterance for maximum political advantage.

In this toxic climate, perhaps the only public institution that has increased in prestige in recent years is the American military. Its officers are looked upon, as General George Patton once noted, as "the modern representatives of the demi-gods and heroes of antiquity".

Where better to look for Obama's successor, therefore, than in the uniformed ranks? Not since 1952, when a certain Dwight Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in Europe during the Second World War, was elected President, have the chances of a military man winning the White House been more propitious.

Within those ranks, no one stands out like General David Petraeus, head of United States Central Command, leader of 230,000 troops and commander of United States forces in two wars. Having masterminded the Iraq surge, the stunning military gambit that seized victory from the jaws of defeat, he is now directing an equally daunting undertaking in Afghanistan.

Petraeus, 57, has survived the collapse of his parachute 60 feet above the ground. After he was shot in the chest during a training exercise and endured five hours surgery, the then battalion commander refused to lie in hospital recuperating. Demanding that the tubes be removed from his arm, he declared: "I am not the norm."

A Princeton PhD, he has revolutionised the way America fights its wars, inculcating the doctrine of counter-insurgency in a new generation of officers who have finally put the ghost of Vietnam to rest.
At West Point he qualified for medical school just to prove he could, never bothering to apply...
Petraeus is pointedly apolitical -claiming he doesn't even vote- and insists he won't run in 2012... but that's the same as Obama said as recently as 2007. Maybe that's why the WH is clearly afraid of him.... read more today at The Times
Photo credit Pookie's Toons

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